Kent State Tuscarawas made a four-hour bus ride to Buffalo on Sunday and the trip home had to feel much longer than the ride over, as the Golden Eagles were swamped 92-54 by Villa Maria College. The Vikings improved their overall record to 21-3 on the year and showed that their #2 national ranking is not an aberration.
Villa led from the outset and took command early as they doubled up on the Navy and Gold by taking a 44-22 lead into the locker room at halftime. In that fateful first half of play, the visitors struggled to 2/10 from behind the three-point line.
The Vikings also forced 21 turnovers on the day and dominated the boards, outrebounding the Eagles by a 50-28 margin yanking down 21 misses off the offensive glass. Second chance rebounds led to 23 Viking points, while they also converted Eagles miscues into 29 points, 16 via fast-breaks. KSU Tusc could only manage four points off of offensive rebounds and did not score a single fast-break basket.
For the game, the Golden Eagles made 23/63 action shots for 36% and were 7/25 for 28% from distance. Villa Maria converted on 35/68 field goals for 52% and made 7/17 three-point tries for 42%.
Gunnar Tharp led the Golden Eagles with 15 points and Drew Williams added 10. Malik Campbell hauled down nine rebounds and was saddled with foul trouble for most of the afternoon making it difficult to generate any offensive flow.
With two games left on the season, the Golden Eagles travel to Akron Wayne on Wednesday, February 13 for a 7:30 p.m. start and end the season on Saturday, February 16, at home against Cincinnati Clermont.